Agriculture Ministry Allocates US$1.45B for Post Harvest Infrastructure

President Joko Widodo and Minister for Agriculture Amran Sulaiman - Photo by President Office

JAKARTA (TheInsiderStories) The Agriculture Ministry has allocated Rp20 trillion (US$1.45 billion) for the development of post-harvest infrastructure in order to absorb the farmer’s production, Antara reported.

Agriculture Minister Amran Sulaiman said the funds to be managed by four state-owned enterprises in the food sector. The synergy among four state-owned enterprises (SOEs) namely PT Pertani, PT Sang Hyang Seri, PT Pupuk Indonesia Pangan, and PT Perusahaan Perdagangan Indonesia is expected to cut short the supply chain of rice for farmers and reduce the price at the consumer level.

“We will focus on the provision of dryers, combine harvesters, rice milling units, and packaging units. Thus, farmers will be able to get a better price,” Sulaiman said.

The four SOEs have been tasked with absorbing the farmers unhusked rice in production areas in a bid to cut short the supply chain and lower the price.

Based on the Indonesia Statistics report, the rice imports is one of inflation driver in several months. Since January of this year, the country has started processing rice imports to stabilize prices and curb inflation.

The Ministry of Trade has made assurances that the decision to import up to 500 thousand tons of premium rice to cover the stock shortage ahead of the grand harvest in March.

Based on the Trade Ministry`s records as of January, rice stocks in the National Logistic Agency recorded at 854,947 tons. Of this amount, the government`s reserves have reached 134,646 tons, while the market needs are estimated to be some 8,992 tons per day.

With the planned distribution to be carried out from January 18 to March 31, the remaining supply at the Bulog by March 31 is expected to be some 152,029 tons.